Today's castle was first mentioned in 1363 and is opened for visitors. During passed centuries there were a row of different owners, as the patriarchs of Aquileia, the Venetian republic, the roman emperrors of the German nation and the Habsburgs. The castle is now owned by the princes von Thurn und Taxis.
Old castle is situated on a high rock, overlooking Adriatic on the one side and the Furlania Lowlands on the other side.
Old Castello di Duino, dated back to the 11 th century, and nowadays, only ruins remind on the times, passed long long ago.
A splendid inner court (see the photo) with the well on one side, is the ideal setting for a chamber music festival.
Behind the well, a staircase leads up to the top of the watch tower. It is worth of any effort - panoramic view is magnificent.
Interior of the castle is breathing with culture and history. offering on display, paintings, letters, coins, library, and much more.
On the photo, you can see the letter which the present Queen of Great Britain - Elisabeth II wrote far - off 1958.
Photo of the Castello di Duino taken from the inner side.
Since it was opened to the public again, in 2003, I believe, many people, being nearby, make a halt and visit this beautiful castle. It absolutely deserves to stop off.
Duino Castle, locally known as Castello di Duino, lies in the little coastal town of the same name. Built on a promontory overhanging the sea, the building is a collage of different architectural styles in a stunning setting. It is surrounded by a magnificent park, which is an overwhelming sea of flowers if you visit in the right season.
Over the years the castle has hosted a lot of very renowned guests such as Johann Strauss and Franz Liszt, the Habsburg Archduke Maximillian, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, Mark Twain, the Italian poets Dante Alighieri and Gabriele D'Annunzio, and in 1912 Rainer Maria Rilke wrote one of his most important poems, the Duino Elegies, here.
During World War II the castle was used by the Germans who, in 1943, constructed a bunker in the rocks next to the castle to defend the nearby naval base of Sistiana to a possible Allied attack. After the war the British used the bunker as a fuel store. This bunker can be visited and houses a small museum.
The castle is open for guided visits and is also a wonderful location for events. It has been open to the public since July 2003. Summer opening time (April - October) is 9:30 - 17:30 (closed on Tuesday) and winter opening time (until the end of March) 9:30 - 16:00 (closed on Tuesday); admission is 7 euros.
Stretched between sea and sky, and backed by a thick pine tree wood, the path inspired the Prage-born poet Rainer Maria Rilke, who spent several months in Duino Castle (from 1911 to 1912), to write his Duino Elegies, which is why the path is named after him. The story goes that one stormy winter morning Rilke was walking down the path, as the waves of the Adriatic loudly crashed against the cliffs, when he heard a voice. He turned around but could see no one. Those mysterious words floating in the air became the beginning of the first of his Elegies:
"Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the Angelic Orders? And what if one of them would suddenly take me to his heart: I would fade away in his stronger presence. Because beauty is nothing else but the beginning of terror."
The path starts on the outskirts of Duino and ends opposite the offices of AIAT (the local tourist board) in Sistiana. It runs along the sheer rocky cliff, giving a chance to climb the rocks and see the stunning landscape below. The panoramic trail stretches for about 2 km and has several lookouts. The view is breathtaking. The green colour of the vegetation and white of the Karst landscape blend naturally with the blue of the Adriatic sea.
For further information call the tourist board on 0432 734 100.
Wedged between the majestic cliffs of Duino near the sea (now a regional nature reserve) dominated by Castello di Duino, the picturesque beach and the famous Karst plateau, Baia di Sistiana (Sistiana Bay) is the only bay of the coast of Province of Trieste. It's a place of tradition and the ancient history. The charming scenery of the bay attracted Austrian aristocracy since the beginning of the century. They used to spend the summer and autumn months combining baths in the sea with baths in the nearby Roman thermal waters of Monfalcone.
The clear water of the sea and the wonderful natural surroundings make Baia di Sistiana an interesting destination for local tourism, the lover of the sea and diving enthusiasts. There are many trails and routes which can be toured by foot or by bike. Particularly fascinating to visit are the two castles of Miramare and Duino, which are plunged into a magnificent panorama, and Grotta Gigante, the largest cave visited by tourists in the world. Baia di Sistiana can be a starting point to discover the treasures of the Adriatic seaside.
It was my fourth or fifth attempt to visit the castle of Duino, which is situated about 20km northwest of Trieste in direction of Venice. My idea was to stay over night in Duino in order to visit it first thing in the morning. Unfortunatelly I missed it again. The castle of Duino is private property and therefore, no metter to opening hours, one can visit it in organized groups only. Individual visit, as locals told me, is possible during the summer season.
The old castle is mostly a ruin but it does offer some wonderful view over the other castle and the area around.
To reach it walk downhill past the main castle entrance for about 5 minutes, the entrance is on the left. It is advisable to wear sturdy shoes as the ground is uneven and there are rocks and fallen stones.
The castle is build on a tall cliff, overlooking the sea, it is famous for the legend of the "Dama Bianca" the White Lady, it is white rock that, from the sea, has the shape of a veiled woman, the legend tell the story of a mean husband who threw his wife from the top of the cliff. The sky, sorry to see that, transformed the woman in a rock before she touched the water.
It was build probably during the X and XI century and it had a fame to be impregnable. It actually resisted the attach of the Venetian during the war against Trieste in 1369.
In the late XIV century the owner decided that it was too old, cold and crumped and ordered the construction of the new castle.
The new castle of Duino was started in the late XIV century, it has been built around the remain of a roman tower that has been restored and incorporated in the structure. It has an historical importance for having been a postal distribution center for hundreds of year. It has been renovated a few time, the last one after having been damaged during the bombing in World War I.
For the last 420 years it has been the residence of the Thurn und Taxis Princes.
The visit of the inside is quite interesting, you are allowed in about 18 rooms containing original furniture and a wonderful collection of old music instruments, mostly violins, violas and other string instruments.
It is also possible to go up the stairs to the top of the quadrangular tower to appreciate a wonderful view of the area around.
The visit of the garden and the bunker is included in the main ticket.
The garden id perfectly cared, with roses orchard, neat and colorful flower beds, and a big water lilies pond with statues and benches all around. The garden continues downhill toward the sea with several gazebos and view points over the sea, Trieste and Monfalcone.
In a corner of the garden is the entrance to the World War II bunker. It was built by the German in 1943 to defend the Sistiana bay from possible attach by the Allied. It was also used as a air-attack shelter. It is excavated in the rock and there are a few flight of stair to get to the botton. It is a wide cave with some smaller room. There are some army stuff to show how they were organized down there and it has a opening toward Trieste where a cannon was mounted.
In June 2012 I found the visit refreshing as it was much cooler than outdoor, a bit claustrophobic, as they keep the light very low to recreate the original athmosphere, and, in general, quite interesting. They have bing banner explaining the history and the use of it.
Duino was the first town, we visited during our one day trip to Duino, Aquilela and Grado, in the middle of May.
Duino is a small town, about 20 km from Trieste, whose main sight is the Castello di Duino.
The Castello di Duino was opened to the public in 2003. The entrance to the castle start with a wonderful park (in full blooming) , decorated with the row of statues. Vaulted door leads to the inner court of the castle.
Between 1911 and 1912, famous poet Rainer Maria Rilke was a guest of the princess Marie von Thurn und Taxis in Duino. And Duino was the place, where he got the inspiration for his famous Duinese elegies.